PLEASE NOTE: This is a yaoi crossover story involving Kane Dragoon from Final Fantasy IV (II in the U.S.), Seifer Almasy from Final Fantasy VIII, and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII. If the concept of male homosexuality or threesomes bother you, then please do not read this story. It also takes place at the end of those games, thereby containing quite a few spoilers, so if you have any intention of playing those games, you might want to wait until you beat the game before reading my story. This by the way is the first story I ever wrote with the intention of submitting it to a site to be posted. It was, but since than the site has been closed down and this story died along with it. Well, now the time has come to give this ole thing a second chance. I was never satisfied with the ending of the original so I re-wrote it a tad, making this rather long story even longer in the process. It still is not at all lemony, but what can I say? The original hardly had any sex in it at all. Now if you are not bored to tears with this author's note, here it is and I hope you like it! Oh, and yes, just so you know, I was inspired to write this story based on the name of the card game found in FFVIII. Weird huh?

Triple Triad

By Dark Angel Genesis

They had done it. Zeromus had been defeated, life upon the blue planet was safe, and the moon had called her children home. All her children that is, except Cecil who chose to remain behind and marry his beloved Rosa. Kane thought long and hard about this as he stood upon the rocky crags of Mt. Ordeals with the wind blowing through his long, golden hair. He was free of both Golbez's and Zeromus's control now, but was left with the scars upon his heart from all the pain he had caused Cecil, Rosa, and their friends to suffer. How easy it was for Zeromus to manipulate him and make him hurt those that he cared the most for.

I am sorry that I will not attend your wedding old friend, but there are things that I have to do. Kane thought to himself as he gazed at the splendid view the crag granted him. Still have not reached the summit. What do I expect to find there? Forgiveness? Redemption? A chance to be alone and consider all of the ugly truths that I have been keeping buried for so long? Kane thought as he picked up his helmet from his place by his feet, dusted it off, and placed it back upon his head. He felt more comfortable once the elegant helmet stylized to look like a dragon's head was back in place, for it obscured the upper portion of his face and hid his eyes from the world. The eyes it is said are the windows to the soul, and Kane did not want anyone peering into his soul right now. With a deep sigh, he left the crag behind and once again began the slow, laborious trek up the mountain.

They had done it. Ultimicea had been defeated, time was no longer compressed, and the balance of life upon the planet had been restored. All of the SeeDs were hard at work now restoring Trabia and Galbadia Gardens to their former glory. Balamb Garden now soared the skies carrying on board the very SeeDs instrumental in Sorceress Ultimicea's defeat. Seifer gave a wistful smile up as Balamb Garden sailed overhead, for one of the SeeDs on board was the new headmaster Squall Leonhart. Squall was once his bitter rival, now he was only a bittersweet memory. Seifer was free of the Sorceress's control now, but was left with the scars upon his heart from all the pain he had caused Squall, Rinoa, and their friends to suffer. How easy it was for the Sorceress to manipulate him and make him hurt those that he cared the most for.

There you go Squall. Who would have thought that the ice prince who wanted to be left alone is now headmaster? You even have a girl now. One that will be there for you through all the hell life dishes out. I hope that you are happy at last. Just wish it coulda been me to make you happy. Seifer thought to himself as Balamb soared overhead and Raijin climbed out of the water that Fujin had recently kicked him into. Hmmph. Life sucks. The only man I ever gave a flying fuck about is out of my reach forever. The only two who give a rat's ass about my existence don't really need me anymore. 'Sides, Fujin and Raijin, loyal as they are, are not what I want to fulfill my needs. Just look, got each other now. Seifer brooded to himself as he watched Raijin hum happily as he cast out his fishing pole and began to fish, and Fujin standing over him, making ready to kick him into the water again if Raijin began another victory dance celebrating his fishing prowess.

They had done it. Both Jenova and Sephiroth had been defeated, Holy was released in time, Midgar destroyed, and Meteor banished forever. The lifestream was no longer being bled dry, and Jenova and Sephiroth were quickly becoming no more than an unpleasant memories in the minds of all that dwelled upon the planet. All save one that is, and that one was none other than Sephiroth himself. He spent the greater portion of his life being a slave to Jenova's will and acting as her proxy, for the Jenova cells that were a part of him dominated his will and drove him mad. Jenova manipulated him and mutated him into a one winged angel of destruction, and caused him to inflict no small amount of suffering to the one person he ever developed any sort of feelings for. The destruction of Jenova freed him completely of her control, but the last remains of Jenova, the cells within, would not let him die. Sephiroth now floated helplessly within the lifestream deep within the planet's core, left with nothing save the scars upon his heart from living a life devoid of love, and hurting the one that he cared the most for.

Please just let me die. Sephiroth begged to the lifestream as it nurtured and flowed through him, restoring the body that had recently been the victim of Cloud's Omnislash technique and had exploded into white light. No, please! Don't make me live! I have nothing to live for. Cloud hates me. I tried to destroy the planet. I killed that bimbo Aeris because he loved her and not me, not just because she stood in Jenova's way. There is no hope he will ever like me, let alone love me now. I do not deserve to live, just let me die! Sephiroth begged as the lifestream continued to repair his wounds, nursing the Jenova cells into activity. The very cells that gave those who carried them more lives than a cat. The very cells that were responsible for driving him crazy. What are you doing?!? He silently screamed since he could not move or speak. Why are you doing this? Planet! Give me your answer!

At long last, Kane reached the summit of Mount Ordeals. This was the place where Cecil, once a dark knight of the kingdom, had cleansed his soul of his sins by defeating the darkness within, and thus was transformed into a paladin. Kane walked into the cave located on the summit where the mirror of truth was located. This is it. This is where I will be confronted with my dark side. All I must do is defeat it and then I can move on with life. Kane thought as he approached the mirror. He stood before it and waited. But instead of his dark side, like Kain was expecting, the mirror showed him... Cecil? Why is it showing me Cecil's wedding? If I had wanted to see this, I would have gone to the wedding itself! Kane thought as he clenched his fists into anger and despair.

"To be free of your sorrows, you must first admit the truth," Kane heard a soft voice say as a brilliant light filled the room. It was the voice of the guardian, and Cecil's father.

"What truth is that?" Kane demanded, glowering angrily at the wedding scene.

"Why did you seek to kill Rosa?" The soft voice within the light inquired.

"Because she stood in the way of Golbez who was controlling me. Zeromus was controlling him. What does that have to do with anything? It was not my fault!" Kane yelled.

"Ah, yes this is true, but it goes deeper than that does it not?"

"Whatever could you mean? Just what exactly are you implying?" Kane demanded.

"You know full well what I mean," the light retorted. "Why such malice towards Rosa? What set her apart from all the other white mages in the world? Even after all that you have been through you feel bitter towards her still. Why? Did you love her?"

"No it was not that." Kane muttered as he cast his eyes down upon the ground.

"Then what was it?" The light demanded. Instead of answering, Kane just clenched his fists tighter as he continued to stare at the ground. He did not want to face this truth about himself and sought desperately for something, anything to tell the light. Anything but the truth he had long hoped to bury deep within himself, but he found he could think of nothing else. Damn, damn, damn. Why ask that? Why? To admit the truth would admit my darkest sin and I cannot, I just cannot bear it.

"Kane, I cannot help you unless you are willing to accept the truth. It is this inner shame that you feel that gives those such as Zeromus the power they need to chain you," the light said, breaking the silence with a gentle tone. "So now I ask you once more. Why did you seek to kill Rosa?"

"It was...It was...It was because I loved Cecil! There are you happy now?! He loves her and not me. He will never love me! Why did he have to go and fall for that stupid bitch? Why did I have to be born a man?" Kane cried out as he slammed his fist against the mirror in frustration, and angry tears began to stream from his face. For a long time the voice remained silent as Kane struggled to get his emotions back under control. There, now you know. I have committed the ultimate sin against creation for I, a man cannot bring myself to love women. I have my heart captured for the love of another man. Oh by the heavens, surely you have forsaken me now. Oh Rosa, gentle Rosa who would never knowingly hurt a fly. How jealous I am of you. You have what I do not. You ARE what I am not. How can you know that you wound me by your very existence?

"Kane, were it not Rosa it would have been another woman. You say that you love him, but do you love him enough to let him go?" The voice again broke the silence in a gentle tone. "Look into the mirror and tell me what you see."

"Huh?" Kane asked as he looked up and studied the wedding scene. He noticed for the first time how happy Cecil looked. In all the years Kane had known Cecil, he had never looked happy. It was Rosa that was bringing him this happiness. "I....damn. I suppose you are right," Kane murmured reluctantly. "I love him enough to want him to be happy. I know him well enough to know that he does not feel for men the way that I do. I could never hope for more than friendship with him," Kane said with a sigh. "I just don't know if I want to live without him."

"You never really had him," The light responded. "However as the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. In fact, one is fishing now...."

Seifer sat on the pier and tried for what seemed to be the hundredth time to cast his line into the water. Finally in frustration at getting the lines tangled yet again he threw down the pole and glared out into space. Damn Raijin makes it look so easy. How the fuck does he do that? Seifer wondered as he saw that Raijin caught another fish, a huge one. Raijin hollered with glee and began his victory dance just before Fujin kicked him in the water.

"IDIOT!" She hollered at the top of her lungs like she always did, thus scaring away any and all fish that were not already disturbed by Raijin floundering in the water. Seifer just threw back his head and laughed, amused at the sight of the soaking wet Raijin and secretly pleased that the fish Raijin just caught managed to escape.

"Ow Fujin! That hurt, ya know! Whydja hafta kick me, ya know? Now the fish got away," Raijin whined mournfully as he climbed out of the water.

"STUPID DANCE!" Fujin responded, as Seifer shook his head and chuckled.

"Aw, hell Fujin let the guy dance if he wants." Seifer said with his patented Seifer smirk.

"WHY?" Fujin demanded as she turned her gaze toward Seifer.

"Because it amuses me to watch him jump around like a dumbass." Seifer responded, not wanting to admit that he knew the dancing also made Raijin happy. He then began to gather his fishing supplies.

"SEIFER LEAVING? WE GO?" Fujin asked, noting the fact that Seifer was collecting his things.

"Nah, you guys stay here. I want to be alone for a while," Seifer responded. Then almost as an afterthought he added, "Please."

"You gonna be all right Seifer?" Raijin asked. "You've been kinda depressed, ya know. Sure you wanna be alone? I don't like being alone when I'm sad, ya know."

"Yeah, well I'm not you, and who says I'm sad?" Seifer responded, shoving his hands into his trenchcoat. "Can't a guy get a little peace without the third degree?" He said angrily as he gathered the remainder of his things and began to stomp away. Damn Raijin, for an idiot, you got your share of wisdom, yeah, I'm sad, not that I will ever tell you why.

"WAIT!" Fujin yelled as both she and Raijin ran after him. "ALCOHOL BAD. NEED TO LET GO."

"Yeah, ya know. We know that you are upset about Squall and the whole entire Knight thing, but c'mon that's over, ya know," Raijin added.

Seifer spun around and faced his two friends and scowled deeply. "All right, just what the fuck are you two going on about? And what's this business about alcohol?" he growled angrily.


"Yeah, ya know. Even I could tell. Ya talk in your sleep, ya know," Raijin helpfully added, which only caused Seifer's scowl to deepen to a dangerous degree.

"I don't know what the fuck you are talking about." Seifer growled out between clenched teeth.

"Come on, Seifer. You have to admit the truth and let it go, or it will eat you alive," Fujin said, speaking normally, since this was a matter of great importance. "We are your friends, and we know you best. We know the reason you always picked on Zell was because he liked Squall. We know the reason you picked on Squall is because he did not like you back."

"Yeah, ya know. We also know the reason you shoved Rinoa into Adel is cause she and Squall loved each other, and not you, ya know. Like you got dumped on both sides, ya know," Raijin helpfully added which only caused Seifer's teeth to grind.

"NO HELP!" Fujin hollered as she kicked Raijin in the shin and glared at him fiercely enough to peel paint with her one good eye. Seifer just sighed and sat down on the pier.

"Aw, hell. You guys just know me too well. Yeah, so I got the hots for Squall, so I'm gay. Big effin surprise. What does it matter? Squall has his own life, Rinoa has hers. Let 'em be happy, they deserve it. They are better off without me, anyhow." Seifer stood up. "Now, if you excuse me, I really want to be alone now." With that Seifer collected his things once again and stormed away.

"OTHERS OUT THERE!" Fujin yelled as he left. Yeah, sure there are. Seifer thought bitterly as he moped off. They're just lining up now as we speak. What's it matter anyhow? I'll only be happy with someone who wants me, and after everything, there aren't a whole lot of those. Well, at least Squall is finally happy. Just wish I coulda found a way to tell him how I feel, not that it would matter. Squall would rather be with girls if he would want to be with anyone at all. Rinoa made that loud and clear. Seifer thought as he headed off in order to get very, very drunk in hopes that a pickled brain would numb the pain.

Planet! Give me your answer! Sephiroth mentally cried out. If he were capable of movement, he would have clutched his head between his hands in sheer agony and despair. Is this to be my torment then? My own personal hell for all of my sins? Am I to remain here forever alone? Sephiroth thought as crystalline tears poured forth from his brilliant green eyes. The planet did not answer, and the lifestream continued to hold him immobile in it's embrace for what seemed like eons as it restored Sephiroth to perfect health. Just as Sephiroth thought the ordeal was over, the lifestream suddenly surged through him like liquid green fire. It was an agony like no other, and Sephiroth felt like he was being torn into a thousand directions at once. It was worse than anything Hojo could dream up, worse than Cloud's Omnislash, worse than the distant memory of being born. However, the agony was also was possessed of an odd sort of exctacy, much in the way that a woman might feel during childbirth. Then suddenly as soon as it started the pain suddenly stopped.

"Now you are no longer Jenova's creature but mine," A melodiously feminine voice that seemed to resonate from everywhere sang out. "The Jenova cells that once made you have been transformed into cells of my own design. You worked for the Meteor. Now it is time you worked for the Lifestream."

"A..Aeris?" Sephiroth asked in a shaky voice. "Is that you? What are you speaking of?" His question was not asked aloud since he was completely paralyzed, but it was heard just the same.

"I am not Aeris, but that which was summoned by her prayer. I am that which is called Holy and I am a part of the Lifestream itself. Her wish was that the world be restored to life, and that you find love. But for you to receive love, you must first give love. Such as it is, and so shall it forever be."

"You mean that I should... Cloud? But that is silly! He is with Ms. Silicon Breast Implants now. I question his choice in women, but at least he is happy. The last thing they need is me showing up trying to win Cloud over," Sephiroth responded incredulously.

"Not with Cloud. You are correct in surmising that he is beyond your reach. He has given his heart to Tifa. No, your task is to help two souls much like yourself find love. Consider it a task worthy of the angel you sought to become. For as much as you choose to delude yourself, Jenova preyed upon your will just as you preyed upon hers. Consider that. Now, the time has come. I shall bring the three of you together in the place where all time and all realities coincide."

"And what place is that? I have never heard of such a place," Sephiroth asked with skepticism.

"There is no true name for it, but many have called it the Commencement Room, but the time for conversation has ended. Now on to your task Sephiroth, and may you find the love that you seek, and the unconditional love that you need. Walk the path of the redeemed Sephiroth." With that, the glowing green lifestream suddenly surged with the glowing white brilliance of Holy as it enveloped Sephiroth, than in the blink of an eye left him alone in an ethereally beautiful room.

"Wait!" Sephiroth cried out, but found that there was no answer. Apparently Holy had made its decision and Sephiroth had no choice but to go along with whatever bizarre sentence that the planet had seen fit for him to serve. Sephiroth sighed deeply as he shakily stood up and tried to get his bearings, grateful that he could at least now move. He found that he was wearing a simple pair of black trousers and that he still had his sword by his side. Not a single scar marred his form. Indeed the planet had restored him to complete physical perfection.

So than, at least I still have my sword. What an odd place this is. Where am I? Sephiroth wondered to himself as he looked about. Glowing gossamer curtains of soft white light descended from the ceiling, and countless shimmering pools of energy powerful enough to generate the strongest sort of materia littered the ground. Sephiroth experimentally stuck his hand in one of the pools and was instantly confronted with all the memories of all the actions that he had ever done in life. He quickly withdrew his hand as though he had been burned. No sense in staying here. Sephiroth thought to himself as he sat down on the lone chair located here. It was placed towards the front of the room and for some reason was facing the wall. He noted with a sigh that there were no doors, windows, or any other apparent means of escape. There were also no signs of the people he was supposedly going to meet here. Guess the only thing left to do is wait. Sephiroth thought as he drew out the impossibly long blade of his sword and began to sharpen it while he thought of what to do next.

"Fishing? I do not understand. I do not want anyone else, if that is what you mean. Besides, there is no one else that could understand me the way Cecil did," Kane told the voice within the light as he crossed his arms in a defensive position.

"Already, your mind is made up. You are so sure of your fate. You think that there is no one else in all of existence that could possibly understand the way you feel. Your drives, your sorrows, and your guilt for your past mistakes. You came here seeking redemption and you came seeking forgiveness. Don't you see that the only way you will ever receive such things is if you first forgive yourself."

"Well, that is fine," Kane said tilting his head to the left. "But where am I supposed to start? I cannot go back to Cecil. It hurts too much to face him right now, but I don't know where else to go, and I don't know where else to turn. What should I do?" Kane asked desperately.

"There are two people who could benefit from your guidance right now," the light responded. "Perhaps if it is your desire, you should seek them out, for in helping them you just might be able to help yourself."

Kane considered this. He had run out of options and was not ready to face Cecil and the others just yet. At the same time, he did not want to be alone. He wanted someone to hold, to talk to, and to make all the nightmares end. And as it stood, he had no better ideas. "Where do I find these people?" Kain asked after considerable length.

"If it truly is your desire to seek them, this place has the power to send you where you need to go. It shall send you to the place where all space and time converge as one. Are you ready?" the light responded.

Kane just nodded his head. "Yes." At this moment the scene in the mirror shifted to that of a room seemingly made of soft white light. It was the Commencement Room.

"Then step forward into the mirror Kain Dragoon," the voice within the light said solemnly. "May you find all that you seek." Kane merely nodded at those words and did as the voice within the light bid. As he did so, the light increased to a blinding degree and he felt himself being whisked away across the borders of time and space. It was truly a disturbing sensation and as soon as it began, it was over. Kane was now in the Commencement Room, and from all appearances, he was all alone.

Seifer sat in his room nursing a bottle of cheap whiskey that he managed to intimidate some fool soldier named Wedge or Biggs to get for him. After some time went by spent in this highly productive activity, Seifer heard a knock on the door.

"G'wayM'Busy," Seifer managed to slur out at the intruder knocking on his door, but that did not seem to deter whomever it was. In fact it only served to encourage the knocker, who was now rapping on the door with hardened determination.

"Come on Seifer, open the door. Don't make me jimmy the lock," a light, feminine voice called through the door. Seifer knew that the owner of that voice would not leave until he let her in and heard what she had to say, so he barely managed to stumble over to the door.

"Whaddya wan' Elle?" He asked as he threw the door open. "Yah gonna lecture me too?" Seifer slurred as he leaned against the doorframe for support. Ellone just rolled her eyes and gave a Quistis like sigh of exasperation. There was no sense in trying to reason with him when he was in this state. Luckily she had brought with her a stone with the power of Esuna, the all-purpose curing spell, trapped within it. If Esuna was capable of cleansing the body of poison, she surmised that it could also cleanse a body of too much alcohol. She pulled the stone out and tossed it at Seifer. The stone glowed brightly and bathed Seifer in its light, then was gone.

"Now what did you have to go and do that for?" Seifer complained in a much clearer tone. Apparently, the Esuna had done its job, for Seifer's eyes were no longer half-mast. Instead they were now narrowed sullenly and fixed on Ellone.

"I need to talk to you about certain issues, and I cannot do that when you are as drunk as a skunk. Yes, I suppose I did come here to lecture you, but it is important that I do," Ellone responded as she pushed her way past Seifer and sat down on his bed.

"By all means, come in," Seifer said dryly, kicking the door closed as Ellone sat down on his bed. He than regarded her bitterly and threw his hands up into the air in resignation as she opened her mouth to speak "Aw, hell I knew you were gonna lecture me. Fine, fine. Have your say, then leave me the hell alone."

"I intend to Seifer," Ellone said firmly. "You probably already know what this is about anyway."

"It's about me and Squall right? Yeah, yeah, before you start your little speech, lemme tell you I heard it already. I know that he has his own life. I know that it is my own stupid fault for never telling him how I felt, not that it would have made much difference. I know that I need to get over it. I know that the evil things I did was not all my fault, that the Sorceress was controlling me," Seifer said sullenly.

"Well, true. But since you seemed to have that part already figured out, I will just cut to the chase," Ellone responded.

"Oh goody," Seifer grumbled as he crossed his arms and faced her with a scowl. He was irritated in the fact that Ellone did not look in the least bit intimidated. Instead she just regarded him sadly and began to speak.

"You can't go on like this Seifer. You are spiraling slowly into a path of self-destruction. You need help. You need to talk to somebody," Ellone finished as she wrung her hands together.

"Yeah I guess so, but no offense Elle, you are not the person I want to unburden myself on. I mean you are part of the reason Squall turned into His Royal Highness of Stoic Frostiness. You also would not understand, you would have had to have been there," Seifer responded as the look on his face calmed somewhat.

"Yes, I know that. That is why I am here. Sorceress Edea and Sorceress Rinoa asked me to help you. With their sorceress powers and my time compression ability, we have the power to send you were you are needed the most, and were there are others that will need you. The only catch is that you must want to go."

"The magical fairytale land of instant salvation huh?" Seifer asked with a smirk on his face. "May as well go, since I know the lot of you won't leave me alone until I do. I'm getting awfully tired of everyone I see trying to play therapist. 'Sides, I got nothing better to do anyway."

"You are willing to go then?" Ellone asked in a hopeful tone as she clasped her hands together.

"I just said that didn't I?!" Seifer said with annoyance. "Fire away, do your hocus pocus or whatever." Then maybe you will go away and leave me in peace, he added to himself in his thoughts. Ellone just smiled and nodded her head. She got a far off look in her eyes as she pulled out two more magic stones given to her by both Sorceresses. Ellone then lit up with ethereal green fire as she focused her will upon Seifer. Seifer felt a wrenching sensation as the two stones left Ellone's palms and bathed him in a brilliant white light. Then suddenly he was no longer in his room, but in some other room altogether.

Sephiroth casually draped his legs over the armrest of the lone chair in the Commencement Room as he mused over his thoughts. Commencement Room. The place where all things converge. I was told that there would be others here but I seem to be alone. At the same time he was thinking this, in another part of the room a wall shimmered and rippled as Kane stepped through. What an eerie place this is, Kane thought to himself as he took in his surroundings. He then waved a hand in front of his face and noted with surprise as his hand left faint tracers behind as the air shimmered and responded to his movement. I do not think I care for this place much. Where are the others I was supposed to meet here? Kane thought to himself as he proceeded to explore the room. Meanwhile, another wall in the room also shimmered as Seifer stumbled through. Motherfucker! Never want to do that again! Damn! I thought Elle was just kidding! Where the hell am I? Seifer swore to himself as he looked about the room. He noted with interest that there seemed to be some writing on the nearby wall. He turned to read it. Chiseled into the wall was an inscription reading, "TO END IS BUT TO BEGIN AGAIN" in bold, elegant handwriting. In smaller, less precise handwriting someone had scrawled "Zell wuz here." in black magic marker. Seifer smiled when he read Zell's graffiti. That's Zell for you, always leaving his mark no matter where he goes. May as well explore this place and figure out a way to either get back home, or until I wake up, whichever comes first. Seifer shoved his hands into his trenchcoat and began to explore the room as well.

Eventually, both Seifer and Kane noticed a figure seated upon a chair. The figure had his back to them, and his silvery white hair streamed back from his head as though being blown by a harsh wind that none of them felt. Hearing footsteps behind him, Sephiroth stood up and turned to face those who were approaching. Both Seifer and Kane saw the traces of countless Sephiroths rise from the chair as reality shimmered around him., then suddenly coalesced into one being. Sephiroth regarded the man in the dark, elaborate armor holding a lance and the tall blonde with closely cropped hair; save for one unruly lock, and a diagonal scar across his face. They in turn regarded the tall, silver haired man wearing a pair of black trousers and nothing else. The three men just stood there and regarded each other for the longest time, not saying a word. Seifer decided that he would be the one to break the silence.

"So, uh what is with the King Arthur get-up?" Seifer asked Kane.

"I know not of this King Arthur. The king of my region is Cecil. I am a dragoon knight," Kane explained coolly. He regarded the unusual sword like weapon Seifer was carrying. "My, such an interesting weapon you have by your side. Whatever is it called?"

"Heh. This here is a gunblade. Speakin' of which, check out that long ass sword of his," Seifer responded as he jerked a thumb over towards Sephiroth, who was in the process of sheathing his blade. "What the hell kind of sword is that anyhow?"

"This is the Masamune," Sephiroth answered as he instinctively gave his sword a protective, almost loving pat, than regarded the two other men with those intensely green eyes of his. He could not tell what shade the helmed warrior's eyes were, but he noted with interest that the blonde youth also had green eyes, save his were more of a milky jade. "It is obvious that we all take pride in our weapons and our prowess with them," Sephiroth noted as he saw that the other two men were also holding their weapons close to their side. "We were all drawn here for a reason. I wonder what else we have in common?"

"Who can say? We only just met." Kane responded as he removed his helmet and gazed at them both with piercing aquamarine eyes. Gods they are both beautiful in their own right. Kane thought as he ran a hand through his long, golden hair and shook it loose. They both have the most amazing eyes. Their eyes carry the same haunted look that greets me each time I gaze into my own reflection. I wonder what tempests rage in their heads?

Seifer frowned as the room plunged into silence again. He hated silence for it was then that his thoughts were at their most thunderous. Even now he was thinking, Now I know this has gotta be a dream. Here I am trapped in some strange reality with two of the most gorgeous guys I have ever seen, except for Squall that is, but damn. Getta load of their eyes. They have both been through hell, I can tell. I wonder what gives? Not gonna be the first to ask though.

Sephiroth frowned as he looked back and forth between the two men. What am I supposed to do now? Am I to help them fall in love with each other? If so, than how is that supposed to help me? Yet, I cannot help but feel that these two are kindred spirits. I feel that as I look into their eyes. The eyes are window to the soul, and when I gaze into them, all I see is pain. My own pain reflected back at me. Both of these men have stories to tell and I intend to find out what they are. I suppose the best way to do that is to first tell my own story.

Sephiroth sighed as he gazed into the eyes of both men. "I have a story I would like to share if you care to listen...." He began as both men turned to gaze upon him. When he was satisfied that he had both of their attention, he cradled the masamune closely as though drawing security from it. "My father Hojo was a brilliant scientist who specialized in genetics."

"What pray tell is genetics?" Kane asked with a frown.

"The building blocks of life that make up who we are," Sephiroth explained, surprised that the knight did not know something so basic. "As I was saying, my father was skilled in genetics and because of that he possessed the knowledge he needed to create people. People such as myself." Sephiroth waited to see what the reaction of the others would be, but they just nodded quietly and were listening intently. "My father impregnated a woman, and infused the growing fetus with the cells of a creature known as Jenova. Once that baby was born, it was taken away from its mother and the mother imprisoned somewhere far from the child's reach. That child...myself never saw his mother again." Sephiroth hung his head as he fell into silence.

"I see. Well go on, this is interesting." Seifer encouraged.

"Yes, pray continue." Kane added.

"Very well. So as you see, I was little more than a scientific project to my father. He was trying to recreate one of the Ancients of my world, known as the Cetra. He thought the Jenova creature that he extracted the cells from was one of the Cetra, but it was not. Jenova was in fact the enemy of the Cetra, the destroyer of all creation and I was a part of her. When my father realized his mistake, instead of killing me like he should have, he merely thought of a way to use me to his best advantage, for I made a lovely little weapon to him. He gave me to the SOLDIER program, and there I trained to be the perfect weapon. There I rose quickly through the ranks, and soon became a general."

Sephiroth paused as he looked heavenward and sighed. "Yes, I was a fine fighter, how could I be anything less? I was designed to be a weapon of destruction, yet all I wanted was for someone to love me. I would often sit alone and watch the rest of the world on my video screens. It always fascinated me the way mothers love their children. I wanted that, but such things were forever beyond my reach. I vowed to myself that I would gain love no matter what. As time passed this lonely hunger grew to be a driving obsession. I did not know it at the time, but Jenova was beginning to act through me and nurtured that feeling of emptiness I felt. It grew worse with puberty. Imagine combining the will of a growing boy with that of planetary destruction and you get the idea. At that time I strived to quell the urges I had to destroy everything. I wanted to be like the others, but I knew that I was different somehow. It was not until the mission to Nibelheim that everything began to fall apart. Oh gods....Nibelheim."

"Hey, what happened in Nibelheim?" Seifer asked as he saw Sephiroth fell into silence again. Kane just remained silent, knowing that the silver haired man would tell them when he was ready to. He just reached out and placed a hand on Sephiroth's shoulder. Sephiroth seemed to draw strength from that touch and rested his hand on Kane's.

"As I have already said, I hungered for a mother's love, but could never find it. Eventually I discovered another sort of love all together, but it was not what I wanted, though it did serve to strive off the emptiness for a short time. I bedded many people, both men and women. It was not a challenge to find willing partners, for apparently others find me physically attractive, but those who willingly gave themselves to me did not interest me in the slightest. I don't know why really. One of my more regular bedding partners was a man known as Zack. We were not friends, but we both served to fulfill each other's needs. Eventually Zack was called away to Nibelheim on some sort of mission. Originally I was forbidden to go, but I pulled what strings I could and called in what favors I needed to in order to go. That was where I met Cloud. Beautiful, beautiful Cloud."

Sephiroth smiled sadly as he recalled the first time he met Cloud. "He was perhaps the nicest person I ever met. He wanted to be a SOLDIER too, poor boy. He was in awe of me as a general, and I found his attention to be flattering and we soon became friends. As time passed during my stay in Nibelheim I found that I had grown quite fond of Cloud. He struck my fancy in a way I never thought possible, and I could not imagine myself being with anyone else. Being with Cloud made the hunger for love less painful and I could almost forget it. Ah, but that was a foolish thing to do. I fell in love with Cloud even though it was painfully obvious that he did not feel the same way about me. What a waste, poor Cloud. I could have given him everything....ah well it was not meant to be."

"Cloud could not possibly hope to understand how I felt for him. I knew that he had feelings for another girl and that angered me to no end. It awakened the hunger too a thousandfold and there was no stopping me. If I could not have Cloud, than the world be damned. Jenova was very close and she was calling to me. She preyed upon my feelings and bent me to her will. When I saw her face to face in that reactor all the pieces fell into place. Here, I thought was the love I so desperately wanted. This was my mother or so I supposed. She sang into my mind and made me feel whole for the first time ever. How can I explain it? I was a part of her and I gave myself gladly. Yes...I chose to be with her. I chose. I know that now."

Sephiroth looked up bleakly at the two men who were with him. They both said nothing, just gazed at him with a surprising amount of understanding. "I....suppose you do know. I can see it in your eyes. So you see, I became Jenova's avatar. If I could not have Cloud, than no one could, and my love for him began to twist to hate. I soon found a library containing some of Hojo's notebooks detailing how I came to be. I was furious for all this was his fault. I wanted to destroy everything, and punish Cloud for rejecting me. I was driven insane for between my heartbreak, Jenova's influence, and the notes I had read, I actually thought I was a Cetra. I soon developed this plan to destroy the world so it could be recreated as the paradise it was meant to be. A world without pain and heartbreak. I did not know it, but such feelings are a part of existence. A world without pain and heartbreak is no world at all. So there I was. Fully Jenova's puppet. I burned the entire town to the ground. Nothing should have remained of such a hateful place I felt. Later on I killed the woman Cloud was developing feelings for while she was praying in the temple of the ancients. Cloud and his friends eventually made their way into the heart of the planet where I held the manifestation of her prayer captive for I feared and hated it. That prayer had the power to annihilate Jenova and I felt myself as well. Cloud himself faced me and struck me down. He too had been changed by fate but instead of being filled with hate, he drew his strength from love. He killed me, but in doing so he freed the planet from Jenova, and he set me free. The planet for reasons of its own decided to restore me to life and send me here. So there you have it. Now you know why I came to be here in this place of atonement," Sephiroth concluded as he leaned against the wall. He found to his surprise that both men were gazing at him with a look of complete understanding. The room too seemed to have changed a bit for upon the floor in a far off corner were several large cushions that somehow had escaped notice until now.

"Where the hell did those come from?" Seifer asked as he too noted the cushions.

"What does it matter?" Kane responded as he headed over to them. "All I know is that their presence indicates that we do not have to sleep upon the floor."

"This is true," Sephiroth murmured as he too headed to the cushions. "Well, I thank you both for listening at least. Now I suppose we shall sleep, yes?"

"Yeah, I guess." Seifer said as he headed towards the cushions. He grinned a bit in appreciation noting that Kane was removing his armor as he made ready for bed. Seifer yawned as he slid off his trenchcoat and began to ball it up into a makeshift pillow. "If you two clowns are still here when I wake up I guess I'll play story teller." Seifer told them both and flung himself in the middle of the cushions.

"Clown indeed!" Kane said stiffly which caused Seifer's grin to widen all the more. Kane tried valiantly to ignore the fact that Seifer had perhaps the finest set of shoulders he had ever seen and that Sephiroth the most lovely silver white hair, just like Cecil's. He could not help but sneak a peek every now and than when he thought that they were not watching. Eventually the three men closed their eyes and settled down sleep, somehow not minding the close proximity of each other.

Seifer nestled between the two men and stared up at the shimmering white ceiling. Now how is a body supposed to sleep with all this blazing white light? Seifer thought to himself. Ah well, Im not really sleepy anyway. Even if I was, I don't think I could sleep after hearing a story like that. Sephiroth...damn and I thought I was a fuck-up. Guess we do have a lot in common. He than turned and regarded Kane, smirking a bit as he thought. I bet king Arthur over there also has his story. He kinda reminds me of Squall too. No matter where he is, he is still so proper.

"I see that you cannot sleep either," Kane murmured as he felt Seifer's eyes upon him. He smiled a bit as he saw Seifer jump a bit with surprise. Sephiroth opened his eyes as he heard the others talk.

"I suppose it is the enchantment of this place," Sephiroth said as he made no attempt to move away from the others. Much to his relief, both Kane and Seifer seemed to share his thought in wanting to be physically close as they too nestled against him on the cushions. They remained huddled close to each other for quite some time, each entertaining the idea of giving one another physical pleasure. As Kane found himself leaning close to kiss Seifer his eyes suddenly widened as he caught what he was about to do.

"Something the matter?" Seifer asked as with a trace of annoyance as Kane pulled away. Sephiroth gained a thoughtful look and turned to study Seifer for a moment.

"Seifer. Obviously we are not going to get any sleep. Why don't you 'play storyteller' as you put it?" Sephiroth asked as Seifer turned and gave him an incredulous look.

"Geez man, you both sure know how to ruin a mood!" Seifer exclaimed as he sat up. "Fine. May as well pass the time blabbing 'bout my past since there is nothing else to do. Hell it may even put us all to sleep." Seifer scowled as he looked away and searched for a place to begin. "Guess the easiest place to start is at the orphanage, " Seifer said as he leaned back against the wall. "I dunno anything 'bout my real parents. I guess they were killed or something during the war. Life there was pretty cool I guess, Matron made a real good mom. She was always there for us, made sure that we were all fed and stuff. I don't really remember too much else about that time except that there was this girl named Ellone that we all called Sis cause she was there the longest. She was nice to us all, but she was the nicest to this other kid named Squall. Heh, he was a real piece of work. Funny thing is, he never let me push him around. Mr. Strong and Silent, yeah that's Squall," Seifer said as he trailed off into silence.

"You were fond of him weren’t you?" Kane asked softly as he gazed at the far off look in Seifer's eyes. Seifer turned and glared at Kane for a moment before his gaze softened to a look of sadness and nodded. Sephiroth's expression was unreadable as he waited for Seifer to continue.

"Yeah. I was fond of Squall all right. Thing is, I knew even as a little kid that I liked boys better than I liked girls. I did not want to grow up and get married to some girl like I was supposed to. And Squall.....I dunno. I guess the fact that he was just so strong, I could see it. He was gonna be somebody real important. He was nice to us all and would always think of these cool games to play. There were times I'd thought I'd die if it weren't for Squall. He never gave up in anything...well not until Sis was kidnapped. That just tore Squall apart and he would do nothing except sit in a corner and play with his stupid blocks. He would not play with anyone, not even me and we were real good friends at that time. It really sucked you know having your own best friend blow you off like that. I mean, yeah, part of me could understand that he lost somebody he considered to be family, but it still hurt like hell. It was about that time too that all of the other kids made their way into Garden."

"Garden?" Kane asked with confusion as Sephiroth just gave Seifer a blank stare.

"Yeah, Garden. They were Matron's idea and they were kinda like military training camps," Seifer explained as he watched both Kane and Sephiroth nod in comprehension. "The purpose of the Gardens was to train people to defeat the big, bad sorceress that wanted to take over the world. Those that showed the most potential were called SeeDs. That is capital S, two small letter E's, capital D, don't ask me to explain the spelling. Anyway, matron's husband ran Galbadia Garden, that's the place that both Squall and I were sent to. We both wanted to be SeeDs, Squall and I, but I could never pass those stupid tests. And I tried, man how I tried." Seifer continued as he looked at the ground. "Its just that no matter what I did, Squall always did it better. I tried to hate him, I really did, but I just could not. How could I hate somebody that made me so happy once? You see, I had this stupid idea that squall would eventually thaw out and we could be friends again. As we grew older I would even dream about him, in know....that way. I guess I wanted more than friendship but I knew that, if anything was a lost cause." Seifer again trailed off into silence as Kane and Sephiroth patiently waited for him to continue. Finally when Seifer looked up and saw that both men had a look of understanding, he found the strength to continue.

"I don't know why I'm telling you both this anyway. I guess its cause I know you both understand. Anyway, I tired to push Squall out of my mind. I even tried dating and for a while managed to get serious with this girl named Rinoa. Rinoa was a nice girl, but she did not really do anything for me. It did not really come as a surprise when she dumped me, but when I found out that she dumped me for Squall, I sort of went berserk. I mean here is the guy that seemed to have it all. He made SeeD and I didn't. He had all the friends in the world even though he did not want any, people just seemed to flock to him. All I had was Fujin and Raijin, but they were more like minions really. I would say jump and they would ask 'How high?' Anyway, when I heard that, I felt that all hope was lost. I could not stand watching my romantic dream get crushed before my eyes, and I was so pissed off at the whole situation. So I attacked him. Yeah, I attacked Squall and nearly killed him. Gave him something to remember me by too." Seifer said as he traced the scar across his forehead. "Betcha both think I'm a real loser huh?"

"It is not our place to judge," Kane said quietly as he sat beside Seifer and placed his arms around Seifer's shoulders. Sephiroth nodded in agreement as he sat on the other side of Seifer and cradled him close. All three men seemed to draw strength from each other's company and Seifer continued his story.

"So you see, by attacking him I ruined any possible hope that we could ever be friends again. I did not mean to really, I just sometimes say and so stuff before realizing the consequences. So off Squall went, leaving me all alone. When Matron showed back up telling me that she could help me fulfill my dreams if I would serve her and become her knight, I jumped at the chance. I did not care that she seemed to be talking weird. When I found out that she was actually the Sorceress, I did not care. After all, everything I ever cared about was gone and if serving her could give me the power to get it all back, I was willing. So yeah, I became the knight in her little chess game. Hey, at least it is better than a pawn right?" Seifer said with a bitter laugh. "So there it was. Me on one side of the chessboard, and Squall on the other. We went from friends, to rivals, and now to enemies. The sorceress used me to further her plans for world domination, and I just did not care!" Seifer said as he buried his head in his hands, not wanting anyone to see him cry.

"Everything I ever wanted in life turned to dust," Seifer continued after a period of silence. "For a while I was so mad I could not even see straight. It was Fujin and Raijin who made me see the futility of this whole thing. They switched sides in the end and went and joined Squall. Squall than defeated me and went off with his friends to kill the sorceress. It was only than that I figured everything out and saw what a loser I had been the whole time. Now I am glad that he won. The best thing I can do for him is to let him go and live his life right? He does not need or want me, so I let him go. Call it my final gift for a friend. Yeah, Squall will always have a place in my heart even if he does not care." Seifer than gained a sad smile as he went on. "You know what? I'm actually happy that he is with Rinoa and that he got everything he ever wanted. All I want is for him to be happy." Seifer glanced at the two men as he wiped away the tears from his eyes. "I...I guess I'm ready to let Squall go. won't be so bad. After all you guys are here right? You won't leave me alone anymore right?" Seifer asked sounding more like a lost, lonely, little boy than the arrogant youth now.

"No. We will not leave you," Sephiroth whispered as he leaned close and stroked Seifer's hair in a loving way. Kane looked troubled for a few moments and remained quiet. Finally he reached out a hand and traced a finger over the scar on Seifer's face. Finally he sighed with resignation and gave Seifer that kiss that he denied him earlier. Kane than in turn kissed Sephiroth and in no time at all, the three men began to make love with each other. Their endurance allowed them to last for hours, until at last all three men relaxed together in an interlocking embrace.

So this is rapture. I never felt more whole or happy in my entire life. I doubt I could even feel this way with Cecil..for these men want me and they are all right with it. They are like me in more ways than I ever thought possible. I do not feel damned as I was told I would be for fulfilling this desire. No, no in fact I feel blessed. Kane thought to himself as he lay sandwich between the two other men. He had his arms about Sephiroth and was resting his head on Seifer's chest.

"Gil for your thoughts," Seifer whispered as he gave the back of Kane's neck a gentle kiss.

"I was just thinking how intriguing this whole experience is. It seems that the three of us have more in common than we possibly ever could have imagined," Kane told them in a soft voice. "I never told my story, and I think.....yes. I am ready to." The others nodded and held Kane as they waited for him to continue.

"The land where I hail from sounds rather primitive in comparison with the worlds that the two of you originated, but I suppose that is irrelevant. Like the two of you, I am an elite warrior of sorts, known as a Dragoon knight." Seifer nodded, having recalled that Kane mentioned something like that earlier.

"What exactly is a dragoon knight?" Sephiroth asked, voicing the question that both he and Seifer wanted to know.

"It is hard to explain. We take our fighting style from that of dragons, utilizing a great deal of leaps and aerial combat maneuvers. The weapon of a dragoon is the lance, and it is not bragging, but a simple fact when I tell you that I was the best. The only other warrior who could even come close to being my equal was Cecil, though he was a warrior of a different fashion. He chose to become a Dark Knight, and mastered the art of the shadowblade, a weapon that very view have the strength of will to use, let alone control. It was the duty of both Cecil and myself to protect the kingdom, and serve our liege lord loyally and without question." Kane sighed as he stared off into space, his eyes distant with memories. Seifer and Sephiroth said nothing, not feeling the need to interrupt as they both knew that Kane would continue his story when he was ready.

"Cecil and I were always close," Kane murmured softly. "We were of a similar age and both orphaned by our parents. He was my best friend, but always I hungered for more than just mere friendship. I knew from a very early age that my feelings for men were far from what is considered proper, and I kept this secret to myself as best I could. I did not even tell Cecil, and Dark Knight though he was, he had a sort of inner innocence and purity about him, thud I doubt that he could even guess. I could not tell him, for what I felt is considered amoral in my culture and I knew that Cecil did not feel the way about men as I did. I felt that if I did tell him I would lose him forever." Kane shook his head with a bitter smile. "Foolish love and foolish pride. I tried many times to banish these feelings, but they would not be denied. They lingered still and grew worse over time. When Cecil began to show feelings for a white mage named Rosa, I could not help but be insanely jealous of her. She had that which I most desired and there was nothing I could do about it. If that were not enough, Rosa had to be one of the most compassionate people I knew and worthy of a great deal of respect. This made hating her both very easy and very hard."

"Many months passed," Kane said as he continued his story. "Cecil's feelings for Rosa grew and my jealousy for her burned in my heart like a dark flame. We both continued to serve our king in spite of the fact that he had suddenly become surprisingly corrupt in a very short period of time. We did not know it than, but our true king had been slain and replaced with a demon that we now unwittingly served. This demon served a darker evil whose intent was to gather the crystals of life so as to free itself from its prison and attain the ultimate power. Cecil had been growing increasingly unhappy serving the false king in this way, and when he was sent to slaughter the people of Mysidia and steal their crystal, he could bear it no more. He dared to face the king and question his orders, but was stripped of his rank and sent on a mission to deliver a package to a remote village. I too was less than satisfied with the way things were being run, but what could I do? When Cecil came up with the plan to run off together, I jumped at the chance. I went with him on this mission." Kane than closed his eyes as he fell silent again. His expression was one of torment as he recalled the incidents that had laid such heavy wounds upon his soul. Both Seifer and Sephiroth could understand the pain that Kane felt and remained close as they gave him the quiet strength he needed to continue his story.

"So off we went to the Valley of Mist. Along the way we were forced to slay one of the guardians, who happened to be the mother of a little girl. Worse yet, once we reached the village proper, the package Cecil was sent to "deliver" opened automatically, releasing hundreds of bomb monsters that wasted no time in destroying the village and killing its people. There was nothing Cecil or I could do to stop it. As it turned out the girl was a Caller, able to summon monsters from the netherworld. She summoned a titan, and in the fray of battle Cecil and I became separated. My shock, my anger, and my despair had reached its peak, and the dark entity that was in charge of this whole situation sent out its trump card. This foul entity wasted no time in sending another one of its puppets to enslave my mind. The dark flame of jealousy and despair I had longed to keep buried was set free and this caused me to act upon certain inhibitions I otherwise never would have even dared."

Kane gave a bitter smile and regarded the two other men. "So you see, I too became a puppet of evil who betrayed the trust of all those I cared for. Cecil on the other hand was able to rid himself of the darkness and become a holy champion of the Light, a Paladin. It was thanks to Cecil that I was finally able to rid myself of my foul master, and not a second too soon. I had kidnapped Rosa and I fully intended to kill her by crushing her with a heavy metal sphere. Cecil had freed me by freeing the one who had enslaved me, who amazingly enough, turned out to be Cecil's long lost brother. This brother, by the name of Golbez was able to guide us to Cecil's uncle, who in turn gave us the key we needed to destroy the dark evil known as Zeromus. It was a long, hard fight, but we won. Cecil and Rosa wed and took the throne of the kingdom. Everyone else who helped with this adventure returned home to lead their peaceful lives. I though, I could not. How could I stay and watch the man I loved love the woman I had longed to kill and nearly did? How could I remain and serve the king, who was once my best friend in a position I no linger deserved? I knew that I had to cleanse myself so I climbed the same mountain Cecil had climbed when he sought to clease his sould of the darkness. The guardian of the mountain saw fit to send me here. And do you know what? I am very grateful that he did." Kane than smiled sadly. "I wish I could take back the past and do things differently, but....had I done so I never would have met the two of you. We are indeed kindred spirits the three of us, and though we may be doomed to spend the rest of eternity in this forsaken place, it is an eternity that I can face with the comfort of knowing that I will be with those who not only understand, but have walked the same road as I."

"Yes," Sephiroth nodded. "I agree fully. We have all suffered the heartbreak of falling in love with unattainable men, and through jealousy sought to lash out against all that had caused us pain. Our jealousy led to our downfall, enabling us to become puppets of darker evils. I am content to know that I have not just one, but two others who can understand me, and.....perhaps even love me." Sephiroth said quietly.

"Well, I can't really say anything as impressive as all that." Seifer told them both. "Though I saw this saying written on the wall when I first got here. C'mon, I'll show you." Seifer than led them to where emblazoned on the wall was TO END IS BUT TO BEGIN AGAIN. "You see? This led me to thinking. We could all start over, just the three of us. So we fucked up, and now we must pay, but at least there is hope for the future."

Kane and Sephiroth both stood and gazed at the inscription along with Seifer. They lost the only love they thought they could ever have, but perhaps between the three of them they, as the inscription said, could begin again? Perhaps they could find love with each other. It was at this mutual understanding that all three men walked toward each other and held each other tightly in a three-way embrace. They remained this way for quite some time, sharing each other's pain and giving each other new hope for the future. Here at last were others who they could love and be loved back in return. Feeling whole for the first time, the three men began to caress each other. Their gentle caresses slowly built to sweet lovemaking, as they shared themselves with each other long into the night. Here at last did three warriors of tragedy from three different worlds gain a chance to converge in the room where all things were one and all things could begin again.

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